No Matter What: Me and My Family


In the case of separation or divorce, it can be very difficult for parents to agree on anything and issues around parenting are no exception. In some cases parents can have serious concerns about the other parent’s ability to look after the child. There are programs and services that can facilitate parenting time even when there are some concerns about a parent’s ability to act in the best interests of the child.

In Saskatchewan, the Supervised Parenting time/Exchange Program can provide supervision of parenting time to help ensure a child’s safety and wellbeing. Typically a court will consider ordering supervised parenting time when, for example, a parent has…

  • limited parenting skills
  • a history of alcohol or substance abuse
  • had limited contact with the child for a period of time and may need help to re-establish a relationship
  • a history involving abuse or violence towards the child or other family members
  • created concerns that they might abduct the child

A court may also order that a parent take steps to address the issues that threaten the parent-child relationship or place certain restrictions on the parent during parenting time. For example, a court may order that a parent attend additional parenting classes or refrain from alcohol and/or drugs before and during parenting time. Courts always consider family violence when determining the best interests of the child including violence that a child witnesses even if it is not directed at the child.

Something to Think About…
Some family law professionals suggest that as families go through changes it may be helpful to pay special attention to the language of divorce to shift the focus away from the end of the couple’s relationship and to instead use language that reinforces the ongoing parental relationship. For example, separated or divorced couples can stop referring to “my ex” and think and talk about them as “my children’s mother” or “my children’s father”. Language can reframe the relationship and unconsciously affect how you talk of them, especially around the children, and even how you feel about them. – Deidre Sanders, Kids in the Middle


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